TUF 18 Finale Fight Breakdown: Jared Rosholt (-220) vs. Walter Harris (+180)

walt-harris One of the preliminary card bouts at the TUF 18 Finale that I’m most looking forward to is a heavyweight bout between UFC newcomers Jared “The Big Show” Rosholt and Walt “The Big Ticket” Harris. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers sees Rosholt as a -220 betting favorite (bet $220 to win $100), while the comeback on the dog Harris is +180 (bet $100 to win $180). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Rosholt at -230 and Harris at +170, meaning there has been two-way action on the bout as the lines have tightened up at the books. Although the betting public is split on this bout, I have a strong lean here, and it’s towards Harris, the dog. I think “The Big Ticket” will win this fight, and I think he’ll do so in impressive fashion. Here’s why. Rosholt (8-1) was an accomplished wrestler at Oklahoma State University, just like his brother Jake, the former UFC middleweight. After seeing his brother Jake make it to the UFC, Jared would also make the move, and so far it’s been a solid one for him as he’s won eight pro fights and earned a contract with the UFC. Obviously Rosholt’s wrestling is his biggest strength, but he’s shown that he’s a well-rounded fighter as he has three wins by knockout and three wins by submission. As a 265 pounder, Rosholt packs a powerful punch, and after winning his last two fights by first-round KO he’s been signed by the UFC. But even though the 27-year-old Rosholt has looked good in 2013, don’t forget it was just last summer that he was exposed by Derrick Lewis in Legacy FC, getting knocked out after gassing out and losing his chance to become the Legacy FC heavyweight champ. But to Rosholt’s credit he has improved since that fight, and now he has a chance to make an impact in the UFC. It all starts with a win over Harris. Harris (6-1) is a former college basketball star who chose to move over to mixed martial arts after failing to crack an NBA roster. And so far, the results have been fantastic as the 30-year-old has gone 6-1 with all of the victories coming by way of KO. The lone loss, by the way, came to an opponent who came in 30 pounds overweight, so take it with a grain of salt. A physical specimen, Harris is strong and athletic like most would expect of a former basketball player, but even though he’s only been competing in MMA for three years he’s shown that he’s a skilled martial artist with a powerful stand-up attack that has led him to collect a string of knockout wins. Now training at American Top Team, Harris earned a contract with the UFC after UFC president Dana White saw him fight and specifically recruited him into the big show. That’s rare, as it’s usually UFC matchmaker Joe Silva who scouts the fighters, but it’s obvious that White sees the potential in Harris that I see as well. The guy is just a big, strong, fast, and explosive heavyweight, and I think he’s about to make a statement in his UFC debut. Although Rosholt is a decent-sized favorite here, I believe that it’s due more to his name than anything else. Obviously he’s a heavyweight and has big power and can definitely win this fight by KO, and of course he can wrestle his way to a decision, but to be honest, more times than not I think Harris wins it, and I think the +180 dog money on him definitely has some value as I cap this fight in my head closer to even. To me, this is a clear dog or pass fight as far as a bet goes, and as far as a pick goes, I’m going to go with Harris too, as I think he will knock the slower Rosholt out in the first round and show the world that he’s in the UFC to stay.

Written by Adam Martin.

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